Four suspects were arrested for car theft Thursday morning after a reportedly stolen vehicle crashed on the W. Beltline Highway.
The car was being pursued by a police officer and crashed into the median.
The incident is just the newest chapter in what has been a disturbing trend occurring in the Madison area. There were more than 57 stolen vehicles reported last month, a 72 percent increase from January 2017 and more than 94 percent had keys in the car. Of the cars stolen in January 2017, 30 out of 33 stolen vehicles had keys in the car.
“That has been going on for sometimes and we keep telling people to lock their cars and yet people don’t seem to be locking their cars,” said Public Information Officer Joel DeSpain, referencing the campaign “#NightlyLockup” which was created to remind residents to lock their belongings.
DeSpain added that the likely purportators are a group of young people stealing cars for fun.
“What we do know is that these young people are likely already in a stolen car and then they drive around and look for another car to steal,” he said. “I’m not saying all of our stolen cars fit this pattern, but this is a pattern we’re concerned about and most of them do fit it.”